I realized it was gone when I sat down in my car and reached for it, wanting to increase the volume.
My pocket was mysteriously empty.
It was missing.
My cell phone was missing.
Not good at all.
I figured that it had fallen out in the backseat of my friend's car,
When I carpooled with him and his roommate to an event only minutes - seconds - earlier.
I figured I could get it when I saw them the next week.
I decided not to worry about it,
That I could live without it for a week,
That this, too, was gift.
I realized four days later that I would not see them in only three more days,
That it would be a holiday weekend and the weekly event would be cancelled.
I started to panic again,
Reminded myself to relax,
To try an email,
Ask someone to search,
Offer to come get it.
I sent the email at 10:46 that night, then went to bed to catch up on lost sleep.
I got his email the next morning,
Sent the night before at 11:49.
He found it under the passenger seat.
(It must have slid off of the backseat onto the floor.)
I could come get it that day or the next.
I thanked God that it had been found,
That I would have it when I needed it in just one more week,
That I wouldn't have to buy myself a new one,
That He was faithful, as He has always been and will always be.
I drove to get it the next day.
His roommate handed it to me,
Thanked me for driving to come get it as I thanked him and asked him to thank his roommate for getting it back to me.
His roommate told me the story,
Of how he had gotten my email,
Had run out to the car to search,
Had looked everywhere for it,
Finally finding it under the passenger's seat,
Holding it up in the air triumphantly.
I was amazed.
All that work, for a cell phone.
That wasn't really it, was it?
All that work, for me - the one who lost it, the one whose pocket it fell out of,
The least deserving.
I was truly amazed,
Amazed that the person I had talked to on the phone earlier to see if I could come pick up my cell phone,
The person I thanked for finding it and communicating so well with me to get it back
Had searched for it longer and harder than I would have imagined,
Yet still said "anytime" in response to my gratitude.
This time, when I entered my car, my cell phone was in my hand.
I flipped it open.
The battery was still functioning.
I had missed calls, a voicemail.
I looked at the missed calls first,
Found one from my friend's cell phone,
The friend who had searched for my cell phone,
Probably from when he was looking yet could not find,
He probably hoped to hear the ring and follow the sound.
Of course, it would not have rung.
The phone was still set to "silent".
I looked at the time,
Realized he must have looked for over fifteen minutes to find my phone.
I don't like to search for even five minutes,
Yet he looked for more than three times that,
For me, the least deserving.
I saw a glimpse of the sacrificial love,
The love that Christ's followers are meant to have,
Yet often struggle to achieve.
I have not seen that love in others as often as I feel I should have.
I have not seen this love in myself as often as I know I should have.
Still, it surprised me,
That he would do this for me.
Even more, it surprised me that he would do this for me anytime.
And thank You, Lord, for providing the example,
Causing the change,
Leading us to love like this,
To love as You have loved.
Keep changing me.
Please, keep changing me.
The song "He's Always Been Faithful" is written and performed by Sara Groves. Many thanks to this singer-songwriter for her incredible music.